The Madeleine Foundation
Asking the questions about what really happened to Madeleine McCann
66 Chippingfield, HARLOW, Essex CM17 0DJ
Tel: 01279 635789
STATEMENT ABOUT THE MADELEINE FOUNDATION CONFERENCE 27/28 FEBRUARY 2010
Near Nottingham East Midlands Airport
Issued 2 February 2010
Dear Members, Supporters and Followers
1. Gonçalo Amaral unable to attend our Conference
We’re sorry to report that we have now heard from Snr Gonçalo Amaral that he is, after all, unable to attend our Conference. As you know, he and his wife enthusiastically accepted our invitation last August. In anticipation of his visit, we had made a booking for him and his wife at a top East Midlands hotel.
Since then, however, he has become involved in three separate sets of litigation. First of all, a civil libel suit which has already resulted in his book: ‘The Truth About A Lie’ being banned in his native Portugal and which recently needed a 3-day court hearing. The McCanns are claiming damages of 1.2 million euros against him - over £1 million. There will be a further hearing about this matter later this month.
In addition, his appeal is under way in relation to his conviction last year as a result of which he received a suspended 18-month jail sentence for allegedly filing a false report in the notorious case of Joana Cipriano..
In this respect we remind readers that it was Gonçalo Amaral and his team of detectives that succeeded in bringing the cruel mother and uncle of 8-year-old Joana to trial for her murder. They are now behind bars for 20 years for their wicked crimes. They had told police originally that Joana had been abducted.
Yet in what The Madeleine Foundation has no hesitation in calling a political show trial last year, lies from Joana’s mother and from staff at the Odemira prison where Leonor Cipriano was in prison awaiting trial led to Snr Amaral’s conviction in what we say were trumped-up political charges. His appeal has been delayed for inexplicable reasons by the Portuguese authorities. He is desperate to clear his name.
On top of all that, he faces a further criminal trial in relation to more allegations, which we once again believe to be wholly false, made by the former partner of Leonor Cipriano.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, in an e-mail message we received late last week, Gonçalo Amaral wrote to us:
“Dear Mr Bennett,
Thank you very much for your email, and for the support that you express. I would like to thank you for the invitation for your Foundation's conference. Unfortunately, due to professional and personal commitments, it will not be possible for me to attend. I wish you much success in your endeavours to assist in the discovery of truth and the pursuit of justice. Best regards,
2. Madeleine Foundation Conference 27/28 February 2010 to go ahead
We shall still be holding our Conference, over two days, as promised, at a venue within 10 miles of Nottingham East Midlands Airport. For those travelling by train, we can tell you that the nearest rail station will be Nottingham Central. There is a good public transport connection from there to our venue.
As with our other conferences, all are welcome who genuinely question the McCanns’ account of events in Praia da Luz. Please register with us beforehand. Only those pre-registered will be able to attend. The actual venue will be disclosed by e-mail or telephone to all those who have registered with us before the event.
The Conference venue will be open Saturday 27th 12noon to 6..00pm and Sunday 28th 10.00am to 4.00pm. The Annual General Meeting of The Madeleine Foundation, for members only, will take place there on the Sunday from 1.00pm to 4.00pm.
3. Committee Meeting 23 January 2010
The Committee of The Madeleine Foundation met on 23 January and a separate report will be sent to members.
4. New book: “The Madeleine McCann Case Files: Volume 1”
This book, which presents to the public eight of the key documents in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann released publicly by the Portuguese police, is with our printers and will be out we hope by the end of February. Foundation members will receive a free copy. The cover price of £4.00 includes postage to any U.K. destination and, as with our ‘60 Reasons’ booklet, is intended only to cover costs.
5. Report by Chairman Grenville Green on his visit to Lisbon for the McCann v. Amaral libel trial, 11 to 16 January
“Because I feel strongly about the verbal abuse directed at the Portuguese police in our British media regarding the McCann case, I felt compelled to travel to Lisbon to show my support for Gonçalo Amaral at the 3-day hearing in January.
“I flew out with my son Stephen, who has Down’s Syndrome, on 11 January and on the following day I was able to stand outside the Palasio da Justice, the Courthouse in Lisbon, where Gonçalo Amaral was defending his right of free speech, enshrined in Article 37.0 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
“I held up two notices, in English, reading: ‘Freedom and Democracy on Trial in Lisbon’ and ‘Portuguese Republic Constitution on Trial in Lisbon’.
“The British press in general do not report fairly on Snr Amaral and, in my experience, do not always report the truth. The latest insults to his integrity were the recent report on the BBC and certain tabloids that he had said ‘F___ the McCanns’ just before the hearing to a British reporter. He speaks very little English and first reports said he had actually said: ‘Nao, forca aos McCanns’ which translates as ‘No, good luck to the McCanns’. Later, Snr Amaral clarified that he’d actually said ‘Nao, fala com McCanns’, which our Portuguese friends say translates as ‘No, speak to the McCanns’.
“This vilification in the British press is typical of the ignorance and biased reporting of elements of the media regarding this case. To obtain an accurate over-view, including world-wide comments, I would encourage you to read the internet site of Joana Morais.
“I demonstrated in support of Snr Amaral outside the court, then attended the hearing for two-and-a-half days.
“On the Thursday evening, my son and I went to a fund-raising dinner at Frei Antonio, a restaurant in Mafra (approx 30 miles from Lisbon).. We were warmly welcomed, and one woman we met there told us about her demonstration outside the court. She had handed out red carnations which have come to symbolise a peaceful revolution in Portugal's history. She had offered a symbolic flower to a VIP who had refused to take it. When asked why, he had replied: ‘I don't believe in it’. She asked, ‘What don't you believe in, peaceful revolution or free speech?’
“That evening I purchased Snr Amaral's second book, just published, entitled: ‘A Mordaca Inglesa - a historia de um livro proibido” (The English Gag - the story of a banned book). It’s an account of the banning of his first book and the attempt by the British government, as he sees it, to silence a Portuguese citizen.
“This Police Inspector, on a matter of principle, had found it necessary to leave the job he loved - incurring loss of income and substantial loss of pension rights - in order to write his first book, ‘Maddie: The Truth About a Lie’. It dealt with the evidence he uncovered as senior detective in the Madeleine McCann case.
“We reluctantly had to leave our new-found friends as the taxi was waiting. Snr Amaral shook my hand warmly and agreed to be photographed with us. I was left with a profound impression of a man with a depth of character who was gentle, thoughtful and warm. Several people had spoken that evening to warm applause, thus showing their unshakable admiration for his courage. The McCanns’ libel action against him continues in February, but my fear is that decisions have already been made. I hope and pray that I am proved wrong and that Portugal's constitution prevails!”
6. Book by Stephen Marsden: ‘Faked Abduction’
It has been reported that our former webmaster, Mr Steve Marsden, is to publish a book on the Madeleine McCann case called ‘Faked Abduction’. Whilst we may well agree with much of its contents, we cannot recommend this book to the public. From what we have learned, Mr Marsden is intending to reproduce the contents of Snr Amaral’s book without the permission of him or his publishers. Moreover, we understand that he is making use of a translation of the book into English by a lady called ‘Anna’, once again without her permission. We cannot possibly support a book which, from our understanding, is guilty of a double plagiarism. Furthermore, unlike The Madeleine Foundation books which are priced only to cover costs, we understand that Mr Marsden intends to profit from the sale of his book.
7. Further information
Here are our contact details:
Grenville Green (Chairman) and Helene Davies-Green
Tony Bennett (Secretary)
email@example.com 01279 635789 Mobile 07835 716537
Sharon Lawrence (Treasurer)